Forget Europe; how about me?
I went to a preview screening of Yael Bartana's film trilogy "And Europe Will Be Stunned" at the AGO this morning, and was quickly made a believer in the 41-year old artist. If it's possible to delicately render an absurdist take on the Holocaust and subsequent Jewish diaspora, this would be it; Bartana crafts a naivist narrative of moral restitution through the character of a well-intended but ultimately simplistic demagogue who seems to believe that all the Jewish ghosts of Poland's fractious recent past will be exorcized if he can just convince 3 million or so Jews to repatriate and make a home of a newly welcoming, multicutural Poland. Right.
Anyway, it's a pretty clever critique on the idealist cosmopolitan dream of a pan-cultural global society thta we seem to be sold every time we turn around, not to mention a pointed dissection of the particular complexities of Zionism in immediate pre-and-post war Europe. It's also riveting. It's rare that I suggest (or condone, or even support) this, but I'd encourage you to watch each of the films in the cycle in order, from beginning to end. It's the best way to get the most out of the experience, and man, is there a lot to get. While you're at it, check out the talk Bartana is giving at the AGO Thursday night at 7 pm, Jackman Hall.